Cover image for The book of literary terms : the genres of fiction, drama, nonfiction, literary criticism, and scholarship
The book of literary terms : the genres of fiction, drama, nonfiction, literary criticism, and scholarship
Turco, Lewis.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hanover, NH : University Press of New England, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 224 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN44.5 .L45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN44.5 .L45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



The author of The Book of Forms has created a companion book with the same codification and systematization for all nonfiction forms of writing and for all forms of fiction other than poetry. He provides a comprehensive guide to and definitions of all significant terms, forms, and styles for all nonpoetry literary genres. For each, all subgenres and their historical examples are described, all significant terms explicated, and all important styles represented.

Wonderful for browsing as well as for reference, it is a book for students and teachers of all genres of literature, for serious general readers, and for writers and critics. Turco writes in an authoritative yet engaging manner, providing endless unsuspected avenues to be explored.

Author Notes

Lewis Turco is Emeritus Professor of English and past Director of the Program in Writing Arts at State University of New York, Oswego.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Turco, whose reputation as a master of poetic form rests on his wonderful The Book of Forms (1968, 3rd ed., 2000) and The New Book of Forms (CH, Sep'87), delves into another side of literature with this companion volume devoted to fiction, drama, nonfiction, and critical/interpretational terminology. However, his work is not merely the list of literary terms the title implies, but a handbook that combines Anglo-American literary terminology with explanatory brief essays and precise examples that guide scholars, students, and neophytes to a better understanding of the subjects treated. In contrast to J.A. Cuddon's A Dictionary of Literary Terms (4th ed., CH, Mar'99), Turco's book is less comprehensive regarding terminology, but used as a reference work in undergraduate survey courses or as a desk reference for serious scholars it would be highly effective. Each chapter offers a topical essay and an associated glossary; individual terms are cross-referenced in the index. Inasmuch as the less expensive paperback edition is available, this work is highly recommended for public and academic libraries. R. H. McDonald; Auburn University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introduction to the Discipline of Literaturep. 1
The Genres of Fictionp. 39
The Genres of Dramap. 70
The Genres of Nonfictionp. 111
The Genres of Literary Criticism and Scholarshipp. 148
Acknowledgments and Bibliographyp. 189
Indexp. 191